Cronyism

Economic growth is slowing

While the United States economy started to grow after the recent recession, the trend in growth is slowing. During the 80s and 90s the federal government spent at around the level of 19 percent of GNP. Now the federal government spends at the rate of 25 percent of the economy. Add in state and local governments, and we're at 36 percent. This is not trickle-down government, it's suffocating government, where government threatens to overwhelm the private sector. As government intervenes in more areas of the economy, as Obama's bureaucrats extend their span of control over the economy (think General Motors),…
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Sedgwick County tower sale was not in citizens’ best interest

The sale of a radio tower owned by Sedgwick County reveals another case of local government not looking out for the interests of citizens and taxpayers, with the realization that the stain of cronyism is alive and well. As a result of system upgrades, the county no longer needs a radio tower located near 77th Street North and Interstate 135. Pixius Communications, LLC made an offer to purchase the tower and the five acre tower site for $280,000. The county proceeded making arrangements for the sale, preparing a sales agreement contract between Sedgwick County and Pixius with a sales price…
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Capitalism and business: The same thing?

Is "capitalism" and "business" the same thing? Most people would probably answer yes, but that's a mistake. In a video from LearnLiberty.org, a project of Institute for Humane Studies, Professor Steve Horwitz explains the difference: "He refutes the often recited claim that 'What is good for General Motors is good for America' by explaining that pro-business legislation encourages behavior that is not beneficial to society or the business itself. He suggests that, in a free market, factors such as profit and competition encourage behavior that ultimately benefits society. Professor Horwitz illustrates that pro-business legislation restricts progress and therefore caters to…
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Koch articles draw critics, but few factual

Two large articles in the Wichita Eagle regarding Charles and David Koch of Wichita-based Koch Industries have attracted many comments, and many are not based on facts. The two articles are The Kochs' quest to save America and Charles Koch relentless in pursuing his goals. A curious irony is the claim by many comment writers that Charles and David Koch want to buy America, while at the same time they are running it into the ground: "The koch bros. are funding the conversion of OUR COUNTRY into another third world country." Even if it was possible to buy America --…
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Kerr’s attacks on Pompeo’s energy policies fall short

We often see criticism of politicians for sensing "which way the wind blows," that is, shifting their policies to pander to the prevailing interests of important special interest groups. The associated negative connotation is that politicians do this without regard to whether these policies are wise and beneficial for everyone. So when a Member of Congress takes a position that is literally going against the wind in the home district and state, we ought to take notice. Someone has some strong convictions. This is the case with U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo, a Republican representing the Kansas fourth district (Wichita metropolitan…
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What’s wrong with Charles and David Koch?

In a column on his website, Fran Tarkenton wonders why Charles and David Koch are the targets of so much criticism. He writes: "So why do we vilify people who represent the greatness of America? Is it just because they have different political beliefs? It’s time to stop demonizing people who do things the right way and generate tremendous wealth -- and value to all Americans. Those are the people we should celebrate, whether you agree with their politics or not! If we want to preserve America as the great place it is, we need more entrepreneurs, more innovators --…
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Government interventionism ensnares us all

Are those who call for an end to government subsidy programs hypocrites for accepting those same subsidies? This is a common criticism, said to undermine the argument for ending government subsidy programs. Rather, the existence of this debate is evidence of the growing pervasiveness of government involvement not only in business, but in our personal lives as well. Recently the Wichita Eagle printed an op-ed critical of Charles G. Koch, chairman of the board and CEO of Wichita-based Koch Industries. The target of the criticism was Koch's recent article in the Wall Street Journal titled "Corporate Cronyism Harms America" with…
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Wichita economic development initiatives to be announced

Tomorrow the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce will announce, according to the Wichita Eagle, new economic development initiatives. Said to be the product of months of discussion, past history suggests that the efforts will not be fruitful for the Wichita area. The inclinations of the parties involved in this effort are for more government intervention and less reliance on economic freedom and free markets. Do economic development incentives work? Judging the effectiveness of economic development incentives requires looking for the unseen effects as well as what is easily seen. It's easy to see groundbreaking and ribbon cutting ceremonies. It's more…
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NetApp economic development incentives: all of them

Tomorrow the Wichita City Council will consider economic development incentives designed to secure new jobs in Wichita at NetApp. Few Kansans, however, are probably aware of the entire scope of the incentive package and the harm it causes. NetApp is asking both the City of Wichita and Sedgwick County to provide an economic development incentive to the company in exchange for bringing jobs to Wichita. The proposed amount is $312 per year per job from each body, for up to five years. City documents indicate that NetApp's intent is to create 418 new jobs, and the maximum grant is capped…
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Charles G. Koch: Corporate cronyism harms America

"The effects on government are equally distorting -- and corrupting. Instead of protecting our liberty and property, government officials are determining where to send resources based on the political influence of their cronies. In the process, government gains even more power and the ranks of bureaucrats continue to swell." The editorial in today's Wall Street Journal by Charles G. Koch, chairman of the board and CEO of Wichita-based Koch Industries contains many powerful arguments against the rise of cronyism. The argument above is just one of many. In his article, Koch makes an important observation when he defines cronyism: "We…
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